WCED Winter holiday programmes for learners and educators
Today brings to a close the second school term of the 2018 academic year and the start of the winter school holidays. Following a busy examination period, this is a much needed break for many learners and educators across the province.
During this time, many of our schools will be buzzing with various holiday activities. It is important that we keep our children safe and occupied during the school holiday period.
Young people often make unhealthy and risky lifestyle choices because they have limited access to recreational opportunities. This is particularly the case in high crime and gang activity areas.
Over the course of the next few weeks, the WCED will once again offer holiday programmes during the winter school holidays which will include Safe Schools Holiday Programmes as well as Winter Schools for our Grade 12's.
Some of the highlights include:
SAFE SCHOOLS HOLIDAY PROGRAMME
The aim of the safe schools holiday programme includes providing constructive activities for children while also protecting schools by ensuring that they are visibly utilised during this period. The programmes are aimed at keeping our children positively engaged, entertained and safe, especially in areas where they are at a greater risk of exposure to substance abuse, drugs, violence and gangsterism.
Each district organises programmes according to the assessed need in the district concerned. This winter, we will see more than 10 000 learners attend Safe Schools holiday programmes.
Educational programmes on offer include topics such as peer-pressure, moral values, substance abuse, HIV/Aids and sexual abuse. Other important topics covered are truancy, gangsterism and as well as career guidance.
A special programme has been designed which addresses bullying, sexual abuse, gender inequality and gender based violence.
Fun activities include team sports, hiking, kayaking, board games, arts and crafts as well as drama and dance classes.
A number of stakeholders have come on board to assist us with the various educational and fun activities. The programme includes different government departments and NGOs, the City of Cape Town, Metro Police and the South African Police Service. We are grateful for their support.
For more information on the Safe Schools Holiday Programme, parents can contact their child's school or their nearest district office, details of which can be found on our website.
GRADE 12 WINTER HOLIDAY PROGRAMME
The winter holiday period is an important time for our Grade 12's as they prepare for their "mock matric" exams. Providing curriculum support to our Grade 12 learners is always a priority, particularly in schools where learners are struggling in specific subjects. During the upcoming holidays, the WCED has organised holiday study programmes at a number of our high schools.
The "winter schools" aim to assist learners in high enrolment subjects. These subjects include Mathematics, Physical Science, Geography, Life Sciences, Accounting and Economics.
Many of the programmes on offer will be taught by tutors selected by the WCED.
In some schools, curriculum advisors will be supporting and assisting individual school programmes. Additional resource materials have been developed to complement the lessons being presented.
The dates of each school's programme differ. Some schools have offered programmes on specific days, while others, throughout the holiday period.
For more information on the Grade 12 Holiday Programme, parents can contact their child's school or their nearest district office.
In order to protect our schools, as far as possible, from burglary and vandalism over the holiday period, the WCED's Safe Schools directorate has arranged increased security at some of our high risk identified schools.
We also ask every community member to help their schools by reporting any suspicious behaviour in and around our schools to the police immediately.
While we are pleased that we have been able to offer safe school programmes at schools across the province, we cannot compensate for the role that responsible, committed parents must play in the lives of their children. That is the bedrock of a functional society and we call on parents to take responsibility for doing everything possible to ensure their children's safety during the school holiday period, by keeping them off the streets and away from alcohol, drugs and gangs.
TEACHER DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING
Ongoing training and development of our educators is another important focus, with a particular focus on Language and Mathematics strategies and e-learning/ICT integration. The Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute (CTLI) is therefore running a number of teacher training and development programmes throughout the winter holidays. Ongoing professional development and training of our educators is a priority for this government.
In addition to the annual Maths and Language Solutions Conference, new courses include Technical Sciences and Technical Maths Training, as well as an Aspiring School Leaders Workshop.
ICT courses include, an ICT Strategic Management Course, a Computer Applications Technology Teacher Training in Examination Preparation as well as an exciting Mobile App Development Workshop.
The Instructional Design Course is an ICT integration course which forms part of the e-Teacher programme. It is a course for officials, from various sections of WCED on the design of online courses or the re-design of existing face- to face courses to become online and blended mode courses. The course will take place over a period of 9 days.
This year, we will again offer the 5-day course to women who aspire to be school managers and leaders. This course aims to facilitate and enhance the leadership development of women within the WCED and to develop their leadership skills.
In addition, the Curriculum GET will be conducting various training programmes within each district for the ECD phase, Foundation Phase, Intermediate and Senior Phase teachers. These courses include topics in the lower phases such as; the theory of Play, Creating an Inclusive learning environment, Early Learning Areas 4: Exploring Maths and the subjects of Maths, Sciences, Economic Financial Literacy, in the higher phases.
I wish to take this opportunity to wish all our educators and learners a pleasant and safe holiday and we hope they return refreshed and ready to tackle the second half of the school year.